055 Portrait of Linus Oubeniel p.1


Translator: yAmi

"Why was that thing allowed to do whatever he wanted?"

Linus was in Volden, in his bedroom. As soon as he put down his luggage and took off his traveling clothes, Linus vented his frustrations. Elisha, the person he directed his annoyance to,, stopped looking around the room and turned to face him with a sour look.

"I wouldn't be so stressed about it."

Her reply ended there. As if that was all, she went back to her searching. Her behaviour was too much for Linus.

"If I’m not stressed about it now, when should I be? You're asking me to sleep in a house where Tullius has everything under his control? If he wanted to, he could sneak into my room tonight and try to kill me!"

"That's why I'm personally inspecting your room, isn't it?"

"Yeah, you're right! I'm sure we can search more carefully after we get rid of that guy!"

"Don't yell at me. You have such a tiny heart, Count."

Elisha shook her head and smiled bitterly.

"There is nothing planted in the room. The detection spell didn't detect anything either."

".......And so there we have it. Please don't take him too seriously, Lady Elisha. It's all in his head."

It was Simone who let out a sigh. This was their bedroom, so it was only natural that Simone and Linus were both here. She was more sympathetic to Linus’ brother than to her husband, with whom she has an uneasy relationship, and she couldn’t imagine Tullius trying to harm Linus.

Linus had suggested to her that Tullius might have been the mastermind behind the Broussonne fire.

"Even for a joke, it is really in bad taste."

Simone brushed aside all of Linus’ concerns.

She was saying that continuing on with this was pointless.

"Are you going to frame him for the murder of my parents? He, who was injured so badly that day that his life was in danger…...? You are also irritated at Marquis Lavallee’s schemes too."

This topic frequently came up in their arguments and they would never come to a conclusion on it. There was a tacit understanding between them not to mention this matter.

Let's return to the present.

In response to Simone's words, Elisha shook her head.

"Well, I think that’s an overly optimistic view. They might leave nothing in the rooms to throw us off guard and go after the Count in some other way."

It was surprising to hear that from her. If Elisha had not interfered from the very beginning, Linus would have been able to drive Tullius back to Marlan. The very person who had defended him admitted that Tullius had harmful intentions. She was too inconsistent.

"Then why did you accept that thing's invitation to dinner? It's like you're jumping into a tiger's cave blindly!"

"If we don't go into the tiger's cave, we will never be able to get the tiger. If your brother is so inclined, we can strike back at him if he tries to attack us. That way, the Count's problems will be solved all at once, and we won't have to worry about him in the future."

"I wonder if Lady Elisha has suspicions of Sir Tullius?"

Simone looked uneasy. She didn’t want to believe that the person she thought was her ally after happily chatting with her in the carriage was actually on the same page as her husband and the schemers in the capital.

Elisha considered for a moment before speaking.

"Well, you know. If we are talking about whether I suspect him, yeah, and if we are talking about whether I don’t suspect him, no. I have only heard about him from the rumours, and the old man and the Count have said a lot of bad things about him, but I will judge him by what I see and hear. Therefore, I have no intention of allowing myself to have my guard lowered around Tullius Oubeniel, but neither do I intend to unilaterally eliminate him."

"You are the definition of ambiguity. Whose side are you on?"

Linus’ annoyance was palpable.

"At the very least I am siding with the Count and the Countess. After all, both of you are the priorities of my escort."

"How dare you throw us, the objects of your protection, into a tiger’s cave? How can you be so sure that there is nothing dangerous in the room? What would you do if they served us something terrible for dinner?"

In the heat of the moment, Linus unintentionally punched the wall of the room. It made a loud noise. Elisha who lived on the battlefields was unperturbed of course, but even Simone did not bat an eyebrow. She looked as if she was used to her husband's tantrums.

Elisha looked fed up and shrugged her shoulders again.

"There's no need to worry about poisoning. After all, ever since the assassination of the crown prince, anti-poison or poison detection magical equipment have been popular among the nobility in the kingdom."

It was true that since the incident seven years ago, the high-ranking nobles, fearing that they would suffer the same fate as the crown prince, have all taken measures to prevent poisoning. Since then, no assassination by poison had ever succeeded. Linus and Simone too, were wearing pendants that reacted when near poison.

Elisha added on.

"You're also taking measures against brainwashing, aren't you? After all, you guys believe that his method of expanding his power is through brainwashing."

"Of course. I wear a ring with anti-brainwashing magic in it. Not only does it prevent you from being exposed to it, but it can also undo the effects of a spell that's already been cast on you if you put it on."

Linus held out his right hand where a brass ring on his middle finger was. It was a bit cheap in design for a Count to wear, but it couldn’t be helped since this was the only anti-brainwashing equipment he had managed to acquire after exhausting all means of looking for one.

"First and foremost, poisoning is impossible. Brainwashing is also covered. So the only choice left is brute force? That would be a problem for him if his plot were to be exposed, and it would be difficult with us watching over you. There is no way that Viscount Tullius can directly harm you. If that is the case, then what’s the worry?"

The female knight said so carefreely.

"So, in other words, you think the same as Simone and this is needless worry?"

"There are some differences. I'm saying that if the other side tries something, it's an opportunity to obtain evidence. And without risks for us at that. Well, if they don't try anything, that's all the better."

So he could try all he wanted — was what Elisha was saying and turned herself around.

"Wait, where are you going?"

"Because I'm not tactless enough to stay in the bedroom of a newlywed couple...... Just kidding. I'm going to have a little meeting with my men. I'll leave a person in charge at the door, don't worry."

The female knight left after leaving a somewhat indecent line.

All that was left was the couple, with even more awkwardness hanging in the air.

"Does that woman use her head or not...?"

Not expecting a reply, he cursed to himself. Despite what Elisha had said, he found it preferable to get rid of Tullius entirely. If Linus was the one taking action, he wouldn't need to take direct action such as assassination; there were plenty of other ways to do it such as through political means. But now that the other side had the initiative, there was a fear that he might have gained an upperhand. Does she even realise that?

No way she understood....... She was a woman that left home because she didn’t want to be engaged for political reasons. She looked as if she was ignorant of political affairs. Marquis Balbastre was a big shot in the decentralist faction. The daughter of the Marquis joined the Imperial Guards, and showed signs of being on friendly terms with Lavallee, the leader of the centralist faction. If she knew even a shred of common sense in a noble society, she would never have conducted herself like that.

As Linus' thoughts became ever more clouded, Simone chided him.

"You don't have to look so grim. She's thinking of us when she said that, right?"

"Hah! Who knows......."

In any case, she was the kind of woman who didn’t show the slightest bit of courtesy to Linus, who was a Count. If she was any bit considerate, she should have showed some humility. From Linus’s viewpoint, she was probably just saying whatever she thought firsthand.

"Really, whoever it is, you always dislike them. I've never seen you compliment anyone in all the years I've known you."

"Hmph. For some reason, all those people keep gathering around me. Even I am disgusted."

"And I'm one of them. I see. Since you dislike it so much, shall I leave you?"
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